Local band works hard for fame

Lifestyle Reporter

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Robert Lee and Dylan Wayne Spires, members of Abandoned Under Fire, perform Feb. 28 at SpaceLab.

The San Marcos-based punk rock band Abandoned Under Fire is on a mission to reach superstardom no matter how long it takes.

Robert Lee, lead guitarist and vocalist, and Brandon DeLeon, drummer, founded the band in 2009 during their freshman year of high school, Lee said. Abandoned Under Fire was originally formed as a death metal thrash band.

The group has a collection of performances under its belt, Lee said. Abandoned Under Fire won its first Battle of the Bands competition in 2009.

Popular metal bands like System of a Down, Metallica and Megadeth were all early influences, DeLeon said.

Jonathan Arredondo, backup guitarist and vocalist, said the band gained a diverse sound over time. They began with heavy metal and developed into a punk rock sound.

“After a while we realized that good music can be fast, but it can also be slow,” Lee said. “It can be really hard, or it can be really simple. And that is where our sound started to mature.”

Dylan Spires, bass guitarist, said the band’s writing has matured.

“We are a lot more productive than we used to be, especially with our writing styles and how often we write songs,” Spires said.

DeLeon said the band’s chemistry and focus allow the musicians to overcome external stress factors.

“Once we get together, our minds are so work-oriented—everyone is so focused—that it just happens because we are all looking for the same thing,” DeLeon said. “We are all looking to make good music.”

De Leon said the musicians have honed their skills individually and are ready for the city to take notice.

“Honestly, I want to get Abandoned Under Fire bigger than Abandoned Under Fire,” DeLeon said. “I want it to get as big as San Marcos.”

Arredondo said the musicians realize only hard work will bring them success.

“Most bands want to go from nothing to everything,” Arredondo said. “They want to go straight to the big lights and shows. But we believe we have to start small and work our way up.”

He said the band does not live the rock-star party lifestyle stereotype because of work, school and family obligations.

“We all have lives,” Arredondo said. “We cannot just go out and party. Usually the fun, the heart and soul of it, all comes before and after the gig.”

Abandoned Under Fire has steadily built its fan base. The musicians continue to perfect a more lively show, which is a crucial element of success, DeLeon said.

“The more you move, the more you bring energy to the show, the more venues will like you,” DeLeon said.

Lee said the band’s success will be determined by perseverance and teamwork.

“If you want to go far, go together,” Lee said. “If you want to go fast, go alone.”